Truck Crash Fatalities on the Rise in Illinois
In only a year, between 2012 and 2013, the number of fatal truck-related accidents increased by 16%. This is an alarming statistic which demands a decisive response to the manner in which we handle truck safety and pursue companies and drivers whose actions are the cause of the thousands of truck collisions occurring on our streets every year. The victims of trucking accidents are not only more likely to die from their injuries than when in crashes with other motor vehicles, but those who survive are often left mangled, maimed and forever changed by their experiences.
The Root Cause of Trucking Negligence is Greed
Regulations and laws are in place to protect the general public, even if adherence to these rules results in additional expenses. Drivers may not be able to earn as much money if they only work the number of hours the law allows. Trucking companies may have to spend money maintaining and repairing vehicles that fail to pass inspections but making sure that drivers are awake, alert and in control of equipment that is functioning correctly could prevent the deaths of hundreds of motorists every year who only happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The following actions and policy decisions are common influential factors in truck collisions.
- Drivers working beyond their "allowable" hours of service. It is ultimately the responsibility of every driver to follow the law and log his or her hours accurately. However, companies often pressure their drivers by pushing tight deadlines and only paying by the mile rather than the hour. Drivers who need to make up for lost time are often tempted to falsify logs to appease their employer or make the money they need to make ends meet.
- Failure to perform routine maintenance. It is a great disservice to employees for truck companies to refuse to properly maintain their vehicles because when the driver is involved in an accident, he or she is the one to take the brunt of the criticism and blame. The long distances traveled by truck drivers can wear on their vehicles’ tires, braking systems, hydraulics, and engines. When these systems fail during use, it can have catastrophic consequences.
- Deciding to forgo regular inspections of equipment. Drivers must make sure that they are aware of any problems with their equipment and need to walk around their semi-tractor and trailer before hitting the road. This will alert them to any "serviceable" issues and ensure that their vehicles are in safe working order before leaving a warehouse or depot.
- Manufactural defect. Sometimes, the manufacturers of trucks and trucking equipment release products that do not perform as intended. When the failure of these devices compromises the ability of the driver to maintain control of his or her truck, the manufacturer needs to share liability for any accident that results.
Trucking companies could prevent thousands of accidents nationwide by changing their safety practices, but to do so would require taking trucks off of the road for inspection and routine maintenance. This would cost employers money in lost production and repair costs. At some point, a line needs to be drawn in the sand when profits and margins are given higher priority than human lives.
Trucking Companies Pay Legal Defense Teams Millions Each Year to Reduce Their Liability
If you are involved in an accident with a large truck, you can be confident that the company that owns that truck is going to get to work immediately to protect its interests. Trucking companies employ expensive defense lawyers who have specified experience identifying and taking advantage of loopholes in truck accident cases, and they will have already started collecting evidence by the time you have received initial medical care for your injuries. The Illinois trucking accident attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are privy to the methods used by defense attorneys in truck crash cases, and our team includes specialists who can combat these efforts.
Our accident reconstruction specialists can gather evidence and records from the scene of the accident and recreate the accident to establish the exact cause. Our medical team can testify to your need for medical treatments and procedures that the defense may otherwise question, and our economists can prove the financial impact of your injuries due to an altered lifestyle and the need for ongoing care or therapy. Finally, our experienced and successful Illinois trucking accident attorneys have successfully represented thousands of victims in the past, and their deep understanding of the law can be put to use when fighting on your behalf.
Trucking companies pay a lot of money to retain some of the best attorneys available, which can make it difficult for victims to hire comparable attorneys of their own. For this reason, we offer our services to everyone regardless of their financial situation and only require payment when we have successfully recovered compensation on our clients’ behalf. Contact us today to arrange a free consultation, and we will investigate the details of your case immediately. Once we have the information we need to advise you on how to proceed, we will go over your legal options with you and let you know exactly what you should expect from the entire legal process.